My boyf and I recently spent a couple of days in Bath, which if you haven’t been is a very beautiful place. When planning our trip, I thought it would be nice if we could have an afternoon tea at the famous Pump Room Restaurant; a tea room at the historic Roman baths.
I contacted their admin team in advance to see if they could provide me with a dairy-free version of their afternoon tea. They confirmed this was possible, and told me to inform the waiter of my dietary request once we had been seated.
On the day, I was still a little concerned that they wouldn’t be able to make something, or that the message hadn’t been passed onto the chef (an experience I’ve had in the past). However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a full, three-tier stand arrive at our table, just for me! As my boyfriend doesn’t have a problem with lactose, they provided us with two different cake stands. This meant we were able to compare the standard afternoon tea with their completely dairy-free alternative.
Two plain scones – just like their normal scones without the milk glaze on top. This meant that they didn’t look as shiny, but tasted just like a normal scone. They also provided dairy-free butter and jam to spread on top.
A solid selection of sandwiches: ham and tomato, cucumber, hummus and tomato, and finally beef and salad, all served on either brown or white bread with a spread of dairy-free butter as well. Usually, the sandwiches are served with a fish mousse, which unfortunately contains dairy. For me, they instead provided a lovely pot of hummus and three small crostini breads for dipping.
I’m not entirely sure what you would call them – something like nut terrines. Now, these sound a little weird and personally I wasn’t a big fan; all four were quite firm and very rich. They contained various different layers, including marzipan, a dairy-free raspberry mousse, ground nuts and dark chocolate. Unfortunately, they all tasted very similar and I think they’d been chilled for a long time. This made them a bit tough to eat, but it was still good to see that they could provide something sweet!
While this isn’t the best lactose free afternoon tea I have had, mainly due to the disappointing lack of sweet options, I have to say that the scones and savoury options were excellent. The Pump Room itself is lovely; a traditional and very beautiful English tea room. A musical quartet plays whilst you dine, adding to the classical and classy atmosphere.
I’d definitely recommend coming to the Pump Room if you’re visiting Bath and are looking for a spot of dairy-free afternoon tea – but just check and let them know in advance about your requirements!
Find out more about The Pump House Restaurant at: